MI5's Oxford Street restaurant has proven to be a massive and amazing success, but the owners, John and Joan Smith, cannot for the life of them explain why.
"We are a real restaurant," said Joan Smith. "We have ten covers, and the restaurant can seat eighteen people. We also have a menu."
"Our twist," said John Smith (may or may not be a relation, he wouldn't say), "is that we just have a menu with numbers on it. The menus do not have which dish."
A sign on the door insists that all diners inform their server if they have a life threatening allergy.
"if you're allergic to peanuts, and don't tell us," said Joan, "it will be like playing Russian Brochette. Don't do it."
Diners, surprisingly, like being surprised.
"It's a breath of fresh air," said one diner, who asked not to be named, but was David Cameron entertaining some Conservative Party donors. "Instead of spending ages trying to decide what to have off a menu, you look at the forty-nine numbers and pick your favourite number. It's amazing. I've had calamari with Udinese sauce and another time I had key lime pie."
The Smiths change the order of the menu each day, so that a repeat diner could order the same number every time, and be surprised at what they get.
"All the food is excellent," said John Smith. "I thought people would complain it was a step to far doing the same with the wine list. However, it turns out that nobody knows anything about wine. Except Oz Clarke, and he's only been in once, accidentally ordered just a coffee and hasn't been back."
There are three chefs in the kitchen, an Italian, a Chinese and an Australian that is fighting deportation. Each has their own speciality dish, even if nobody knows where about on the menu they are.
"We're considering adding an extra frisson of surprise," said Joan Smith, "We're offering the blindfold option, so you don't even know what you've ordered until it's on your tongue. John's against that though, in case they order the soup."